Michael Crescent Scout Building Demolition Project
Horley Town Council is delighted to report completion of our planned Town Plan project to demolish the derelict building at Michael Crescent Centenary Park, as part of the first phase of an exciting new undertaking by the Town Council at the site.
The property, formerly a squash club, was built by the armed forces in 1943. In more recent times, it was converted for use by the Horley 1st Scouts. The Council purchased the freehold title in 1975 from Surrey County Council and change of use of the building was granted in 1988 from a squash court to a scout hut. In 2010, the remaining lease with the Horley Scouts Association was terminated by mutual consent due to its declining use by the community group as its headquarters. It was last used as a polling station in 2005 but since then, the electoral authority ceased to use it due to its overall poor condition.
The building was not locally listed and was in a general poor state with a recent survey underlining a gradual deterioration over many years. The Council did however explore other options for the building, from a possible refurbishment or rebuild and plans were even drawn up for a new community building but despite following up on possible grant opportunities, the budget price was simply unaffordable. So earlier this year, the Council decided the best way forward would be to demolish the building and then look to redevelop the site at some future point with recreational facilities. Local residents were contacted and given advance warning of the demolition with an assurance that disruption would be kept to an absolute minimum.
Additionally, the park is used by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council to manage the Air Quality Monitoring Station RG1, adjacent to the former scout building. The Borough Council was informed of the Town Council’s intentions to demolish the building and both councils worked together to deliver the project whilst ensuring the protection of the unit at all times. The Town Council would like to thank the Borough Council’s planning and environmental health teams, for all their help in delivering the project, especially the air quality monitoring officer who was extremely supportive throughout.
After a planning application made to the Borough Council was granted, the demolition took place in the month of September by the appointed contractor, Britaniacrest Ltd. The Town Council would like to extend a sincere note of thanks to Britaniacrest for their hard work and professionalism in working with us to deliver the project with the highest levels of planning, assessed risk control and environmental management. The area will be grass seeded along with some soft landscaping around the air quality monitoring station and redevelopment of the site for leisure and recreational activities may be considered at a future stage. In the meantime, the extra open space has enhanced the impressive park incredibly.
The Town Council was also successful in making bids to Reigate & Banstead BC’s five-year Strategic Community Infrastructure Programme and this included an infrastructure project to upgrade the existing playground at Michael Crescent Centenary Park. Subject to receipt of allocated funds through the scheme, the Town Council intends to embark on the second phase of the project to enhance the play area. For this, we will run a public survey with residents for ideas on possible options with the aim to enhance with play area with popular new equipment for infants and children of all ages, regardless of abilities and with a focus on accessibility and inclusivity.
We will be pleased to share more details as the next phase of the project at Michael Crescent Centenary Park moves forward.
Photo of the building before demolition
Photo during the demolition:
Photo of the site after the demolition: